MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

Fine Art Photography Inspired By Natural Creation & Wholesome Reading For Your Family's Entertainment


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LOVEBIRD QUIZ

LOVEBIRDSToday, I read an article, What type of “lovebird” are you?, in the February 17, 2014 issue of First for women magazine that I found to be extremely interesting.  And since I love writing stories about relationships, I decided to write this blog.  The article was based on the book, Lovebirds, by couples therapist and avid bird-watcher Trevor Silvester who explains some ways that humans show love by comparing them with how birds interact with their mates.

The article included a six-question, multiple-choice quiz for readers to see what makes their own hearts soar.  Answers revealed if you are a nightingale, an owl, a peacock, or a swan.  I’m a swan.  The article pointed out that this bird is happiest when it is amicably swimming for hours next to its mate (which it has for life!).

Some traits of a person who falls under this category are:  (1) he/she is a conveyor of affection by going out of the way to show emotional support and make others feel comfortable, (2) great harmony is found in simply spending one-on-one time with his/her loved one in a relaxed setting, and (3) he/she doesn’t need their partner to do anything extravagant to prove their love–they just need to be there for them.

In every relationship, there is going to be friction because no matter how compatible two people TBPare, they are both still two imperfect human beings who will sometimes rub each other the wrong way.  (Romans 3:23)  Therefore, none of us can truthfully say that we have never in word or deed hurt someone we dearly love.  Oftentimes, getting too wrapped up in our own emotions can cause us to overlook how the other person may be feeling.  Communication is key in any relationship; however, there is a right way and a right time in which to carry it out.  For example, it needs to be done respectfully and not when we are angry.  Otherwise, it will only add more fuel to the fire.  This is what happens with Estelle and Roger in THE BREAKING POINT.

Being in love and being loved are two of the best feelings in the world.  Our capacity to love is a gift from our Creator–so whether you’re a nightingale, an owl, a peacock, a swan, or something else, love with all your heart because love never fails.  (1 Corinthians 13:8)

HAPPY READING!  And as always, this is from my heart to yours,

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

(Lovebirds Photo-Courtesy of Office.com Clip Art)

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MALE MENOPAUSE?

manDo men go through menopause?  Unlike their female counterparts, some men are less likely to go to a doctor when they are sick or to seek preventive health care.  But is there such a thing as male menopause?  Hormone changes are a natural part of aging regardless of the person’s gender.  While the changes that women experience during menopause are more dramatic and occur during a relatively short period of time, sex hormone changes in men appear more gradually over a period of many years.  And while there are also other terms to refer to so-called male menopause, many doctors call it “andropause.”  So, what are some of the symptoms a man going through this stage of life might experience?

  • Sexual Function Changes which might include reduced sexual desire and erectile dysfunction.
  • Sleep Pattern Changes such as insomnia or increased sleepiness.
  • Various Physical Changes consisting of increased body fat, reduced muscle bulk and strength, and loss of body hair.  Although rare, might also include having less energy and experiencing hot flashes.
  • Emotional Changes like feeling sad or depressed and having trouble concentrating or remembering things.

Women are usually more apt to openly discuss with their doctors exactly what they are feeling and the changes their bodies are undergoing in any given situation.  We like to talk about what is bothering us.  Some men, on the other hand, tend to internalize their emotions and may be reluctant to seek medical help, let alone to actually be honest with their doctor (or perhaps anyone else) regarding what they are experiencing.  In THE BREAKING POINT, Roger refused to communicate with his wife Estelle about some of his deeply-rooted feelings.  Darryl, of IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH, did speak with his wife Catina about how he felt but in ways that were dogmatic and pessimistic .  ISAIHBoth men had to learn to overcome their own idiosyncrasies in order regain a sense of peace and normalcy in their lives.

TBPThe Scriptures say at Genesis 2:24 that when a man and a woman marry, they become one flesh.  Yet 1 Peter 3:7 and Ephesians 5:21-33 help us to appreciate that both are unique in their own special ways and are still considered as individuals.  Therefore, while they are extremely different, they should also be united in their efforts to keep their marriage honorable, to be each other’s rock (even when they don’t always understand what the other is going through), and to maintain harmony to the extent possible.

So as women, may we keep in mind that we are not the only ones who experience changes in life–the men we love do so as well–and it is up to both genders to help pave the way so that the transition is not more turbulent than it has to be.

HAPPY READING!  And as always, this is from my heart to yours,

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

(Photo Of Man Courtesy Of Office.com Clip Art)

 


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DEALING WITH A PARENT’S REMARRIAGE

lImage The family is God’s arrangement.  He instituted it in the Garden of Eden when he gave the first woman Eve to the first man Adam (Genesis 2:22-24).   Although  a man and a woman’s union is to last forever, sometimes due to different circumstances, that is not the case.  Therefore, one or both may decide to remarry.  Being part of a stepfamily is all too common nowadays.  Although it can be stressful for the grown-ups involved, it can be especially upsetting for the children.

Being a teenager is one of the happiest and most exciting times of one’s life, but it can also be a time of emotional ups and downs.  And one of the things that can contribute to the low moments is the remarriage of one or both parents.  While some teens may be ecstatic at the thought of having a stepparent, others may feel jealous, betrayed, and insecure.  In LIFE AFTER MOMMA, Kiara feels the latter, and her loyalty to her deceased mother causes her to lash out at her father and his fiancée.  She resolves in her mind and heart that she will never come to like the woman and spends a great deal of time letting both adults know exactly that.  However, in doing so, she vents her emotional pain in some very destructive ways.

Are you part of a stepfamily?  If so, what are some things that can help you to cope, even if you have legitimate grounds for complaint?  First, recognize that your feelings are normal.  Second, remember that no family is perfect.  Third, keep in mind that meaningful, respectful communication is key in any relationship. 

And one last thing–be patient (with yourself and your stepfamily).  In time, the stepfamily you can’t stand today may just be the one you’ll eventually grow to love.

From my heart to yours,

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

  

 

 


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PARENTS JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND, OR MAYBE THEY DO

Young ones, do you often feel that your parents just don’t understand you? In my first young adult novel, LIFE AFTER MOMMA, that’s exactly how Kiara feels about her dad. It’s a normal and natural thing to want to be understood–even older ones have that desire–and it can be extremely frustrating when the things that you love and feel are important just don’t seem to matter to anyone else, especially the people who gave you life and should know and understand you better than anyone else on the planet.

Parents, do you sometimes feel that your children view you as their #1 enemy? Every time you zig, they zag, and conditions at home just aren’t as peaceful as when they were younger and you still had some control over them? Instead of loosening your grip gradually, you continue to hold on for dear life because you’re afraid of all that might go wrong if you allow them even the smallest measure of freedom and independence?

Well, the next time there’s a disagreement between you, do you think it would help you to understand each other better if you took the time to sit down and talk? Not ranting, raving, yelling, and screaming but calm, respectful communication.

Parents, reflect on what it’s like to be young. And young ones, try to remember that your parents were once young, too–and maybe they do understand because they’ve been where you are now.

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com